WATCH Kamala Harris Stumble on Inflation Question Amid Reports She Neglects Staff Briefings
06:23 GMT 31.12.2021 (Updated: 13:54 GMT 06.08.2022)
The outgoing year has seen an exodus of several employees from Kamala Harris' office, amid reports that part of the reason was the US vice president being nothing but a "bully" who forces her staffers to deal with "soul-destroying criticism".
US Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to be unready to give a clear-cut answer when asked about an economy-related issue during an interview, something that seems to highlight her staffers' alleged complaints that she declines "to wade into briefing materials".
Speaking to the host of CBS'
"Face the Nation", Harris appeared to stumble on the basic issue of tackling "transitory inflation" and did not think twice before switching to topics pertaining to President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better Act"
She said: "We have to address the fact that we have got to deal with the fact that folks are paying for gas, paying for groceries, and […] need solutions to it. So let's talk about that".
According to her, a "short-term solution includes what we need to do around the supply chain […]. So, we went to the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Savannah, Georgia, and said, 'hey, guys, no more five days a week, eight hours a day; 24/7, let's move the products because people need their product – they need what they need'. We're dealing with it in terms of the long term. And that's about what we need to do to pass Build Back Better. It strengthens our economy".
This comes against the backdrop of reports about a "toxic" atmosphere in the US vice president's office, which has already prompted a number of staffers, including Harris' long-time aide Symone Sanders and communications director Ashley Etien, to resign.
The Washington Post, for example, cited an unnamed source familiar with the matter as saying that aides in the Harris office had to endure a "constant amount of soul-destroying criticism".
Another source argued that the VP had repeatedly refused to meticulously analyse briefing materials put forth by employees but then berated staffers if she appeared unprepared.
"It's clear that you're not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work. With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you're constantly sort of propping up a bully and it's not really clear why", the insider said.
25 December 2021, 12:46 GMT
Gil Duran, who worked in Harris' office in 2013, when she was California's attorney general, told The Washington Post one of the things he and his colleagues said in their "little text groups among each other is what is the common denominator through all this and it's her [Harris]".
"Who are the next talented people you're going to bring in and burn through and then have [them] pretend they're retiring for positive reasons", Duran added.
Adding insult to injury is Harris' record-low approval ratings and a host of missteps, especially those related to migration, which triggered reports that the Democrats might be contemplating alternatives should Joe Biden not run for re-election in 2024.